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Water reversal of the city

A city born from water which, after having turned its back on it for some time, is now seizing the Europan contest opportunity to turn its tack back towards it

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Lille was historically built around the Deûle. Vauban, who built the queen of Citadels, was reliant on this aspect of the city to build its fortification network. For various reasons (19th century approach to hygiene, establishment of an industrial port), the city developed by turning its back on its 24 km worth of banks.

In September 2016, the City of Lille, in association with the Lille European Metropolis (MEL), took part in the 14th EUROPAN competition, the theme of which was “Productive Cities.” The Lille site for this competition was Bois Blancs Island, the island of possibilities, a district that is an extension of Citadel Island, Lille’s eco-lung.

A participatory approach for helping to carry out a project in the making — a full-scale urban experimentation laboratory

Lille is committing to taking an innovative approach to rethinking the planning of its banks and of the Marx Dormoy pool site by 2020.

A city born from water which, after having turned its back on it for some time, is now seizing the Europan contest opportunity to turn its tack back towards it
A participatory approach for helping to carry out a project in the making — a full-scale urban experimentation laboratory

Lille is committing to taking an innovative approach to rethinking the planning of its banks and of the Marx Dormoy pool site by 2020. 3 consecutive phases are being proposed:

  1. rediscovering this island’s little-known heritage through themed visits
  2. starting in October 2018: working on rivearth follies that will allow the banks to be repurposed. The Europan competition’s winning teams, the architecture and landscaping school students, and the local city services will participate in co-designing workshops, working together to imagine new water-related uses for them. 
  3. starting in March 2019: taking part in the thinking process around desired uses and contributing to a list of programmatic specifications

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